Home Buyer Tax Credit Program Receives 50 Million Boost

The Houston housing market took another hit last month — home sales were down 18.6 percent compared with September last year. But there is a program that may help out the real estate business in Harris County. County Judge Ed Emmett is trying to get the word out about a new tax credit program that gives qualifying home buyers a credit of up to $2000 dollars a year for the duration of their loan.

Steve Krueger, Judge Ed Emmett, Steve Harris
From left to right: Steve Krueger, Judge Ed Emmett, Steve Harris

“You’re talking about significant savings over the life of a loan.”

It’s called a Mortgage Credit Certificate or MCC. Steve Harris is the program’s manager. He says the program just received a $58 million dollar boost to assist low to moderate income families. He says eligible home buyers can get a direct federal income tax credit that’s equal to 30 percent of the interest paid on their loan. Harris stresses that it’s a tax credit, not deduction.

“A credit is direct money back in the pocket of the home buyer.”

To be eligible, home buyers must live mainly in unincorporated Harris County — that excludes the city of Houston, which has a program of its own. Those who qualify may only purchase homes with a price tag of up to $250 thousand dollars.

“It really is a work-force housing denominated program that can help many, many Harris County residents to obtain a home of their own.”

Right now the program is not limited to first-time home buyers. But Harris says that changes at the end of the year. For more information, visit harriscountyhfc.org.
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